Now Win <i>This</i>!: The Shot in the Dark Sweepstakes Now Win This!: The Shot in the Dark Sweepstakes Crime HQ These five books will hit you when you least expect it! FM: <i>The Nightingale Before Christmas</i> by Donna Andrews FM: The Nightingale Before Christmas by Donna Andrews Nikki Bonanni Christmas decorating is serious business. FM: <i>The Counterfeit Heiress</i> by Tasha Alexander FM: The Counterfeit Heiress by Tasha Alexander Angie Barry Not everyone is who they seem... FM: <i>Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld</i> by Jake Halpern FM: Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld by Jake Halpern Lance Charnes Debt collecting is cutthroat.
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Showing posts by: Ian Truman click to see Ian Truman's profile
Feb 13 2013 1:00pm

True Crime? The Curious Case of Remy Couture

You may or may not be aware of this case so let me start with a brief recap:

Remy Couture is a special effects artist here in my hometown of Montreal. His speciality is crime and (mostly) gore. Truth be told, he is really, really good at it. So good that he was recently accused of “producing and distributing obscene material” an offense that is usually reserved for “true” events that have been filmed and distributed (such is the case of alleged killer Rocco Magnotta.)

Now, bear with me.

Remy Couture, who has worked on many big budget films, such as Death Race and The Mummy 3, self-produced, filmed, and distributed his own movie titled Inner Depravity. It is a movie for which he also made the special effects: the blood, the gore, the decay. He even acted in it. That was a few years ago and it was intended to be a portfolio piece.

On many accounts, the scenario appeared to be unoriginal. A deranged serial killer kidnaps, tortures, rapes, and kills young women in unsavoury ways that will undoubtedly land him in special hell. (Yes, I’ve been watching Firefly again!)

[Seems harmless enough...]

Jan 17 2013 1:00pm

Five Film Oldies You Should See

As my Christmas bonus arrived and I had time on my hands, I paid a visit to my local video/book exchange store. Yes! There are still some of those around—for how long, though, I have no idea!

And so I was rummaging through the rows and rows of used novels, music CDs, and films. Now bragging about finding a copy of Sneaker Pimps’ now seventeen-year-old “Becoming X” for $6 is probably not Criminal Element’s cup of tea. But as I was going through the used films, I realized that someone had clearly pawned their Criterion Collections and I was blessed with one of those rare moments in which you find great freaking movies at ridiculous prices.


Dec 12 2012 10:30am

Opposites Attract: Why We Love Both Castle and The Wire

Taking a Bite out of Crime!I was looking at my collection (yes, I do this a lot) and I was wondering.

How can I have on the same shelf genres such as hard-boiled, gritty, literary, noir, literary noir, police procedurals, timeless classics like Catch-22, In Cold Blood, Naked Lunch, but also Dan Brown, some pulp PI novels and a collection of films that can go from Otto Preminger to Michael Bay?

(Thank God I don’t have any of those “My! Oh! My! Who could it be that stole the magic cupcakes?” and I’m not even getting into my sci-fi titles.)

How can I explain my (and probably your) taste in such a diversity of genres? Well, let me try a few examples.

First thing that comes to mind is Castle because, well, I was watching Castle.

Castle is cute (yes I’ve used the word cute). The murder scenes are not too morbid. The bodies are not decayed realistically. No bystanders ever appear to be panicking or screaming in utter terror and they always seem to break their case in a few days. (That would make it a hell of a police unit if you ask me.)

[Best closed case statistics...ever.]

Dec 5 2012 10:30am

Handcuffs Just Ain’t What They Used to Be

If you have been arrested lately, especially in large groups (and let’s not assume that I would ever get arrested. That would never happen to a guy like me!), you might have noticed that the police no longer use handcuffs but rather use tie-wraps. (Or zip ties depending on where you are from.)

I mean, as a police tool it makes perfect sense. You don’t have to worry about losing the key, not knowing which model or serial number fits with which key, etc. There was the odd case where someone might actually beat the lock. Granted, they’d still have to bust out of the car and/or escape the officers, but if that never happened, Fox News could arguably be out of business by the end of the fiscal year.

Tie-wraps make sense for police work and there are better trained people than me who figured that out for all of us. But here’s the problem.

[There’s always a problem...]

Oct 8 2012 2:00pm

Will the Hardcover Be the Vinyl of the Publishing World?

Just like many of you, I buy most of my music online in digital format. The occasional CD I might still buy will quickly be transferred onto iTunes, added to my playlist, and the CD itself will gather dust in my old storage tower . . . behind the couch!

I remember a time when I would carry a 64-CD Caselogic around in my bag and a pack of batteries for the inevitable moment my Discman would be out of juice, which happened quite often. I don’t miss these days one bit.

On the other hand, my interest in music goes beyond the simple act of listening to songs on my iPod. I have always loved to hunt for new titles or bands (and I don’t mean online). I enjoy spending an hour or two just flipping through discs in a record store to see if a cover will catch my attention. It is just some hunger for discovery that I enjoy. There is something about the designs of the sleeves or the lyrics sheets that I feel is deeply connected to the music and the creative process of the artists.

[Is hardcover to publishing what vinyl is to the recording industry?]